Outsourcing is more prevalent now than it’s ever been, thanks to the internet and the gig economy it’s created. It’s so easy to assign a task to someone you’ve never met and to have that task successfully completed. Outsourcing delivers promising results most of the time. Even though outsourcing seems nearly magical, it isn’t always the right decision. Some roles are best served in-house because of their level of importance. You need to be able to tell these roles apart before you start hiring.
Outsourcing removes all barriers to finding the best talent. You’ll always be able to assign the best person to the job, whether they live three blocks away or in Sri Lanka. It may take you longer to find this person since you’re able to search the entire world for them, but you’ll never need to worry about hiring someone who can’t live up to your expectations when you’re fishing in the be-all, end-all talent pool.
You also won’t incur any overhead as a result of this employee, helping you keep costs down. Even if you’re paying an outsourced person substantially more, it still might be less expensive than hiring someone in-house after you factor in all of the expenses that go towards maintaining an in-house employee.
The biggest risk with outsourcing is the potential that you won’t see the results you want in the time period you require. You may be working through different time zones, and it could take you longer to develop a meaningful rapport with an outsourced employee. If you’re outsourcing an entire service to a company, their outages or service disruptions will affect you until they resolve the problem themselves. If they’re down, you’re down, and you can spend a long time waiting.
Keeping things in-house means a lot for company culture. If you outsource certain services, a breakdown of communication can lead to frustration with both employees and customers. Outsourcing customer service seems like a good idea, but it can go horribly wrong. Service staff in other countries may have a hard time communicating with customers, lowering satisfaction and making your in-house team’s jobs more difficult. Morale goes down, culture splinters, and people start looking for greener pastures.
When highly connected jobs are kept in-house, communication and workflow is easier. By automating menial tasks rather than outsourcing them, oversight can stay optimal. Your team will have more control over aspects of your business and be able to effectively and evenly manage them. This unity is what inspires a team to become creative and innovative. Be sure now to outsource anything that may hamper your team’s abilities and empowerment.
The best way to balance in-house work with outsourcing is to hire independent contractors. You can regularly return to the same people or companies for specific work, allowing both teams to develop a functional working relationship.
As an example, an electrician company can have a fully functional in-house team while outsourcing job fulfilment to independently certified electricians. By using the right electrician software, it’s easy to manage a large group of talented outsourced people, get to know them, and assign them to the jobs that suit their skills. No one suffers for it, and everyone feels like a team. When possible, this is the best way to outsource work.
Both methods are effective. What you need to consider is the impact your choice will have and the current constraints and situations you’re working with. Both outsourcing and keeping things in-house are necessary for running a highly productive business.
Savannah Wardle is an editor at Businesscheck.co.nz and Canadabiz.net. She’s passionate about a variety of topics: business, career, entrepreneurship, as well as technology. You’ll also find her online blogging about personal development and travel.